DENVER — Supporters of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez have formed a new 527 group in an effort to flex enough establishment muscle to help the former congressman win a four-way primary later this month.
The group’s name, “Republicans Who Want to Win,” isn’t subtle; it’s a reinforcement of the establishment’s belief that only Beauprez has a chance to beat Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in the fall.
“You can’t govern if you don’t hold the office,” says a quote on the group’s newly-launched website.
But the group wouldn’t exist at all if Beauprez was a slam dunk to win the June 24 primary.
Just Tuesday, Beauprez’s campaign released its own internal poll showing Tom Tancredo with a narrow lead over Beauprez, who both are trailed by Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp.
“Currently, the race has shifted from a four-person dog fight to a two-person race between Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo,” said Mark Burris, spokesperson for the independent expenditure committee. “Beauprez is the only candidate who can run a competitive race against the big money special interests from the left who are supporting Hickenlooper.”
The group released a YouTube video featuring Beauprez giving a speech about his vision for the state.
The video, which is almost a minute and a half, will likely be cut down to a 30-second version that’ll hit the airwaves across the state soon.
Beauprez’s campaign has $115,996 cash on hand, roughly twice the totals of his rivals’ campaigns, much of it thanks to a $100,000 personal loan from the candidate himself.
That personal check, while significant, might not have been enough for a statewide media buy big enough to move enough voters into Beauprez’s column over the next three weeks.
Now, with the launch of the new 527 group, it’s clear the Beauprez team is making a bigger push.
Tancredo and Gessler also have ads on the air in limited rotation.
Gessler, like Beauprez, is making a general election argument, positioning himself as a the candidate who can actually win the general election and reminding voters that both Beauprez and Tancredo have already run for governor and lost in 2006 and 2010, respectively.